How to Choose the Perfect Bronzer
Looking to add some sun-kissed color to your skin? Whether you’re preparing for the summer or need a glow-up in the winter months, knowing how to pick the right bronzer for your complexion is key. In this guide, we break down the steps on finding the right shade and type of bronzer for your skin's undertones, plus weigh in on some easy bronzer application tips. Read on to find out more!
Picking the Right Bronzer Shade & Formula
Before zeroing in on your bronzer, consider your skin’s profile — undertone, color, type — as well as the kind of product you’re looking for. Maybe blemishes have you feeling blue (or red), and you want a more even skin tone that won’t take all year to achieve.
And let’s be honest, creating that beachy, bronzed look at home can be tricky at first. Pinpointing the right shade alone takes tons of trial and error for even the most experienced beauty experts. There are also different formulas to consider based on your skin type — it’s a lot to think about, so let’s break it down.
Identifying Your Skin’s Undertones
Here’s a shortcut for figuring out your skin’s undertones: Take a look at your veins. Arms, legs, anywhere you can see them! If the veins look greenish, then you have a warm undertone. If they look blue or purple, then your undertone’s cool. Somewhere in between, and you have a neutral undertone or an undertone roughly the same hue as your skin tone.
This won’t be a hard and fast rule for everyone, but it offers a good rule of thumb for getting off on the right track and knowing how to pick your ideal shade.
Bronzer Colour Matching Cheat Sheet
Here’s a quick list if you’re looking for some tips for matching your bronzer with your undertone. Note that if you go too dark, what was meant to be a lovely glow can end up looking muddy!
Warm Undertone - Opt for a warmer bronzer color like mocha, golden-brown, or something with a hint of colors such as yellow or burgundy. When choosing a warmer option, note that it can still look lightweight and fresh.
Cool Undertone - Choose beiges, lighter tans, or even a soft peach. Slight warmth here can work to add depth, but be careful not to go too warm!
- Neutral Undertone - Avoid anything too yellow or too pink. While neutral undertones can be notoriously tricky to harmonise with, you'll find most success with brown-based bronzers.
For a healthy, natural-looking glow, you want to ensure the colour of your bronzer harmonises with your undertones as much as possible. Picking a warmer shade if your skin has cool undertones, for example, can make you look unusually orange. And you’ve probably heard it before, but when choosing a bronzer, always go one or two shades darker than your natural skin tone.
Types of Bronzers
Now that you know how to pick the right shade, how do you pick the right formulation? With tons of formulas in the market to choose from: Mousses, creams, sprays, powders, lotions, gels — gradual tanners & quick to dry — the main deciding factor: your skin type.
Dry skin? Go with a cream, liquid, or gel. A good bronzer for drier skin should add a pleasant lift to a dull complexion.
Oily skin? Avoid cream and liquid, as well as those that are especially bright and shiny. Instead, opt for a powder or gel bronzer to counteract your skin’s natural shine and give it a scintillating warmth.
- Normal to combination skin? You can’t go wrong with powder bronzers and mousses. Other types may work, too. Just test them out first or go off of what’s already been successful.
If you’re looking for a good, all-around bronzer that will nourish your skin while delivering a goddess-level glow, check out our cruelty-free, vegan summer favorite Sunny Honey Bali Bronzing Foam. We created it using our stellar Cellushape formula packed with anti-aging and imperfection-blurring benefits. Plus, it smells amazing! (Goodbye, scouring the internet for tips to get rid of that less-than-ideal self-tanner smell! Hello, mango and guava!)
Tips for How to Apply Bronzer
Life is short. You don’t want to spend all day applying, removing, and re-applying just to walk out of the house with shaky confidence and a ho-hum complexion.
A few tips for applying bronzer:
Exfoliate before application. This clears away impurities from your pores and prevents dirt from mixing in and muddying the glow of your best bronzer.
Reapply as needed. While areas like the hands and face are more prone to smudging off over time, don't over do it with the reapplying.
- Moisturise your skin and do not exfoliate after applying. Post-bronzer exfoliation will only remove the pigment which defeats the purpose of fake-tanning in the first place.
If you’re applying bronzer to your face, give a little extra love to your cheekbones and your face’s natural contours. Sculpting around your temples and jawline will add definition. To make your dull, tired skin really pop, opt for a slightly lighter shade for application on the face. OR, you could check out our top-selling Bronzing Face Drops, for a natural, everyday glow.
Bronzing at Home and Beyond
You made it! Your face and body are, hopefully, nicely bronzed and ready for an adventure to the beach. (Or, library. But hey, that’s cool too!) With these tips you should be feeling more confident in knowing how to pick a bronzer. Still have questions or looking for some inspiration? Check out the Coco & Eve blog for more fun beauty routine tips, and explore our store to find your next go-to tanning kit.
Edited by: Vidhya